After several months of patiently waiting plus several leaks, we now have three Lumia phones that are back to tickle our fancies: the Lumia 950 XL, Lumia 950 and Lumia 550 are the high and low-end phones respectively. They all run a version of Windows 10, which Microsoft is betting will help kick-start their third-party app ecosystem. The two high-end phones have the same basic specs we’ve seen on a lot of phones lately:From an Octa-core and Hexacore Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a new USB Type-C, and 5.2 and 5.7 inch screens (950 and 950 XL, respectively) . And why not, Microsoft even says that they’re liquid cooled, which is nuts.
At a glance Windows 10 user interface for mobile devices looks really similar to Windows Phone 8 before it. It will be hard to notice but there is a whole new OS underneath. The result: Windows Phone is just as snappy and fluid, not that it wasn’t before. It now has something like the full power of Windows behind it. And, how can you prove this? It’s simple, you can actually hook up a full-sized monitor and use it as a mini computer that will display with a stripped-down and fast UI we’ve seen before.
To keep Windows users onto the ecosystem, Microsoft has secured promises from a few companies (notably, Facebook) to get universal apps working on Windows Phone.
Lumia Cameras are back
Both high end phone will come a 20-megapixel sensor, it won’t choke in very low lighting conditions, Microsoft said during the launch. You will get stable and usable images which are also impressive.
The back is plastic (or polycarbonate, if you must), and comes in black, white, or cyan. Microsoft isn’t doing anything whimsical or even especially daring with the basic slab design, but there’s some kind of honor in simplicity.In terms of features, the two big stories are Continuum and Windows Hello. I didn’t get a chance to try out Hello, but I did play with Continuum for a bit. Against all expectations, I feel like it could actually be the real deal. I was super impressed.
Will the Lumia 550 be the next Lumia 520?
The Lumia 520 was a Microsoft home run as it sold like hot cakes for the company, the Lumia 550, Microsoft’s low-end phone is back to replace the 520 with better specs. So even though we now have two new Windows 10-based flagships, Microsoft needed to make sure it didn’t give up on the bread-and-butter. At only $139, Lumia 550 is small, thick, and has a measly 5-megapixel camera, at that price it should do well for Microsoft.
The Lumia 950 and 950 XL prices start at $549, so will these new Window 10 phones change Microsoft’s luck in the smartphone world?